Quotations of Wisdom

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Mohandas Gandhi

Every formula of every religion has in this age of reason, to submit to the acid test of reason and universal assent. [Q561]

Senator Paul Simon

Our system is strong enough to resist Communism without adopting Communist methods. [Q1724]

Václav Havel

Without free, self-respecting, and autonomous citizens there can be no free and independent nations. Without internal peace, that is, peace among citizens and between the citizens and the state, there can be no guarantee of external peace. [Q1759]


Courage consists not in hazarding without fear; but being resolutely minded in a just cause. [Q774]

Gabrielle Gifford

And what is seen in the last couple of weeks is that people want to have created for them a form where they can be disruptive rather than actually providing the information in a way that's going to give me their perspective and educate me on their point of view. [Q1262]

Adlai Stevenson III

The air waves are in the public domain; but the government increasingly represents the private domain. [Q1859]

Václav Havel

Our country, if that is what we want, can now permanently radiate love, understanding, the power of the spirit and of ideas. It is precisely this glow that we can offer as our specific contribution to international politics. [Q1792]

Jonas Salk

When things get bad enough, then something happens to correct the course. And it is that sense I speak of evolution as an error-making and error-correctiong process. And if we can be ever so much better — ever so much slightly better — at error correcting than at error making, then we'll make it. [Q489]

Thurgood Marshall

In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute. [Q753]

Margaret Mead

One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don't come home at night. [Q1427]

Václav Havel

Despite all the political misery I am confronted with every day, it still is my profound conviction that the very essence of politics is not dirty; dirt is brought in only by wicked people. I admit that this is an area of human activity where the temptation to advance through unfair actions may be stronger than elsewhere, and which thus makes higher demands on human integrity. But it is not true at all that a politician cannot do without lying or intriguing. That is sheer nonsense, often spread by those who want to discourage people from taking an interest in public affairs. [Q1765]

Hideki Tōjō

In the shadow of the prosperity of Europe and America, the colored peoples of East Asia and Africa have been sacrificed and forced into a state of semi-colonization. I would point out that the cultural advance of these people has been suppressed in the past and continues to be suppressed in the present by policies designed to keep them in ignorance. [Q1070]

Master Kan

The Yin and the Yang are opposite forces yet they exist together in the harmony of a perfect orb. — "Kung Fu" The Passion of Chen Yi — 1974 Episode 34 [Q631]

Robert J Gula

Before one can use one's reason, one should know the traps that are always awaiting the untutored mind. — Nonsense, Red Herrings, Straw Men and Sacred Cows: How We Abuse Logic in Our Everyday Language. [Q1184]

Herbert Simon

One finds limits by pushing them. [Q646]


Silence at the proper season is wisdom, and better than any speech. [Q784]

David Ogilvy

I don't know the rules of grammar... If you're trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think. We try to write in the vernacular. [Q2087]


Neither should a ship rely on one small anchor, nor should life rest on a single hope. [Q817]

Adlai Stevenson

Your days are short here; this is the last of your springs. And now in the serenity and quiet of this lovely place, touch the depths of truth, feel the hem of Heaven. You will go away with old, good friends. And don't forget when you leave why you came. [Q1657]


Music can change the world because it can change people. [Q635]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding. [Q417]

Charles-Louis de Secondat Montesquieu

If triangles made a god they would give him three sides. [Q1527]

Master Kan

Weakness prevails over strength. Gentleness conquers. Become the calm and restful breeze that tames the violent sea. [Q520]

Alexis de Tocqueville

The power of the periodical press is second only to that of the people. [Q964]

John F. Kennedy

Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one's own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others. [Q1503]

The Diane Rehm Show

David and Julie, I was born in 1947. I am typing this email through tears of respect for Ike. After listening to you guys analyze the past and present with so much insight and knowledge. I'm inspired by my memories of the balance and wisdom of Ike. He lives on through you. More importantly you were willing to help us remember. Hopefully your efforts will throw more balance into the current political discussion. — From Bob in Indianapolis who emailed the Diane Rehm episode, David and Julie Nixon Eisenhower: "Going Home to Glory" [Q1220]

Scott Nesler

The fault nor the solution is with the two party system. The solution resides in the pragmatic and generous spirit of a populace armed with the tools and the media to express their point of view in a respectful and intelligent light. [Q125]

Albert Einstein

Imagination is more important than knowledge. [Q1273]

Tammy Faye Bakker

If you're asking God for a Winnebago, you may as well tell him what color. [Q1523]

Wendell Berry

The logic of governmental efficiency, unchecked, runs straight on, not only to dictatorship, but also to torture, assassination, and other abominations. [Q1334]

Michel de Montaigne

I do not speak the minds of others except to speak my own mind better. [Q1167]

Martin Luther King

I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to 'order' than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice. [Q1893]

René Descartes

The senses deceive from time to time, and it is prudent never to trust wholly those who have deceived us even once. [Q1124]

John F Kennedy

So, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country. [Q2064]

Scott Nesler

Ignorance is the act of ignoring the collateral damage of one's belief and an apathetic attempt to seek the truth. [Q549]

Abraham Lincoln

Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren't very new at all. [Q490]

Paul Krugman

The Washington Post quotes an unnamed Republican adviser who compared what happened to Mr. Cain, when he suddenly found himself leading in the polls, to the proverbial tale of the dog who had better not catch that car he’s chasing. “Something great and awful happened, the dog caught the car. And of course, dogs don’t know how to drive cars. So he had no idea what to do with it.”

The same metaphor, it seems to me, might apply to the G.O.P. pursuit of the White House next year. If the dog actually catches the car — the actual job of running the U.S. government — it will have no idea what to do, because the realities of government in the 21st century bear no resemblance to the mythology all ambitious Republican politicians must pretend to believe. And what will happen then? [Q1709]

Noam Chomsky

The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people. [Q160]

Alberto Giacometti

In every work of art the subject is primordial, whether the artist knows it or not. The measure of the formal qualities is only a sign of the measure of the artist's obsession with his subject; the form is always in proportion to the obsession. [Q445]

Theodore C. Sorensen

We shall listen, not lecture; learn, not threaten. We will enhance our safety by earning the respect of others and showing respect for them. In short, our foreign policy will rest on the traditional American values of restraint and empathy, not on military might. [Q2021]

Lenny Bruce

The liberals can understand everything but people who don't understand them. [Q336]

Mohandas Gandhi

Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress. [Q32]

George McGovern

Let the opposition collect their $10 million in secret money from the privileged few and let us find one million ordinary Americans who will contribute $25 each to this campaign, a Million Member Club with members who will not expect special favors for themselves but a better land for us all. — 1972 Democratic Convention, Miami Florida [Q2026]

Michel de Montaigne

Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know. [Q1174]

Albert Einstein

Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. [Q2022]

Ferdinand de Saussure

Henceforth, language studies were no longer directed merely towards correcting grammar. [Q2085]

Henry Ford

The one aim of these financiers is world control by the creation of inextinguishable debt. [Q1970]

Woodrow Wilson

At every crisis in one's life, it is absolute salvation to have some sympathetic friend to whom you can think aloud without restraint or misgiving. [Q742]

Typical Father

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. [Q185]

David Brooks

When you cover politics, you realize that knowing how to talk about character matters more and more. The way we hold ideas is more important than the ideas. [Q470]

David Baker

What that book does for me is give me the tools in the same way that I had the tools when I learned the regular scales or the alphabet. If you give me the tools, the syntax, and the grammar, it still doesn't tell me how to write Ulysses. [Q2090]

Dwight Eisenhower

America is great because she is good, and if America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. [Q1845]

Tom Stoppard

If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older. [Q2075]

Robert Anton Wilson

Certitude belongs exclusively to those who only own one encyclopedia. [Q83]

John Kenneth Galbraith

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. [Q1595]

Václav Havel

Our country is not flourishing. The enormous creative and spiritual potential of our nations is not being used sensibly. Entire branches of industry are producing goods that are of no interest to anyone, while we are lacking the things we need. A state which calls itself a workers' state humiliates and exploits workers. Our obsolete economy is wasting the little energy we have available. [Q1785]


Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants. [Q829]

Thomas Jefferson

The truth is that the want of common education with us is not from our poverty, but from the want of an orderly system. More money is now paid for the education of a part than would be paid for that of the whole if systematically arranged. [Q535]

Caine and Master Kan

Caine, “We swore an oath of friendship, master.” Master Kan, “You are speaking of disciple Han?” Caine, “Yes, master.” Master Kan, “And he no longer feels bound by this oath?” Caine, “Because of the contest yesterday, between us, in which he was defeated.” Master Kan, “And you feel as though you have lost something?” Caine, “I do.” Master Kan, “What will you do now with your oath?” Caine, “Is not an oath eternal?” Master Kan, “But how can you control such a thing as a friendship? Which requires the assent of two persons. It is well to consider deeply, before binding yourself to an ideal, cause, or a man. But what is an oath worth that binds a man to an unachievable task?” Caine, “He is still angry, it troubles me. I do not know how to answer to his hatred.” Master Kan, “How else, but with love. One cannot always keep a friend. When that friend believes that one has wronged him.” Caine, “But, I have not wronged him. He is mistaken.” Master Kan, “Each man has the right to choose his enemies and his friends. He may choose unwisely, but the decision is his alone, to make. Then he must live with the consequences. And so must his enemies, and his friends.” — "Kung Fu" The Crossties 1974 Season 2 [Q628]

Wendell Berry

A teacher, finally, has nothing to go on but faith, a student nothing to offer in return but testimony. [Q1325]

Scott Nesler

One person's truth is another's slander. [Q551]

Thurgood Marshall

None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. [Q755]

Senator Paul Simon

The position of Paul Nyholm and my brother is that the Bible is inspired and an accurate guide on Christ's life and mission and on issues of faith and morals, but does not require that a person accept creation in six days or that Methuselah lived to be 969 years old. [Q1690]

Henry A. Wallace

This dullness of vision regarding the importance of the general welfare to the individual is the measure of the failure of our schools and churches to teach the spiritual significance of genuine democracy. [Q463]

Carl Sagan

Personally, I would be delighted if there were a life after death, especially if it permitted me to continue to learn about this world and others, if it gave me a chance to discover how history turns out. [Q224]


Justice in the life and conduct of the State is possible only as first it resides in the hearts and souls of the citizens. [Q887]

Theodore Roosevelt

Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. [Q1281]

Tony Hsieh

For me, my role is about unleashing what people already have inside them that is maybe suppressed in most work environments. [Q993]

John Boyd Orr

Though the general principles of statecraft have survived the rise and fall of empires, every increase in knowledge has brought about changes in the political, economic, and social structure. [Q1157]

Thor Heyerdahl

One learns more from listening than speaking.And both the wind and the people who continue to live close to nature still have much to tell us which we cannot hear within university walls. [Q1538]

Micheal Kinsley

In any event, the proper question isn't what a journalist thinks is relevant but what his or her audience thinks is relevant. Denying people information they would find useful because you think they shouldn't find it useful is censorship, not journalism. [Q621]

Marshall McLuhan

The mark of our time is its revulsion against imposed patterns. [Q1474]

Adlai Stevenson

Every age needs men who will redeem the time by living with a vision of the things that are to be. [Q1647]

Robert Pirsig

The truth knocks on your door and you say, go away I'm looking for the truth, and it goes away. Puzzling. [Q373]

Michel de Montaigne

I write to keep from going mad from the contradictions I find among mankind - and to work some of those contradictions out for myself. [Q1170]

Ward Cunningham

There is a programming smell here… which is kind of like the smell in your refrigerator, you know. There's a sign that there's something wrong, but you can't quite put your finger on it. But you know if you leave it there, its only going to get worse. [Q221]

Carl Jung

If one does not understand a person, one tends to regard him as a fool. [Q254]


There is no such thing as justice in the abstract; it is merely a compact between men. [Q807]


Observe due measure, for right timing is in all things the most important factor. [Q451]

Alan Greenspan

The true measure of a career is to be able to be content, even proud, that you succeeded through your own endeavors without leaving a trail of casualties in your wake. — June 1999 — Harvard University Commencement Address [Q459]

René Descartes

Each problem that I solved became a rule, which served afterwards to solve other problems. [Q1114]


The world turns aside to let any man pass who knows where he is going. [Q823]

Marshall McLuhan

The medium is the message. This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium - that is, of any extension of ourselves - result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology. [Q1476]

Thomas J. Watson

The toughest thing about the power of trust is that it's very difficult to build and very easy to destroy. The essence of trust building is to emphasize the similarities between you and the customer. [Q1203]


The unexamined life is not worth living. [Q762]

Tracy Chapman

We are the spirit the collective conscience — From the lyrics of "Heaven's Here on Earth, Album New Beginning" [Q1491]

Winston Churchill

The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is. [Q690]

Albert Einstein

Equations are more important to me, because politics is for the present, but an equation is something for eternity. [Q428]

George Mitchell

Why do they believe as they do? Why do they act as they do? Is there something to their position that I don't understand or that I've been wrong about? The most disturbing thing now is the rigidity of some - you know, 'We are right, we are 100 percent right, and if you disagree with us, you're not just wrong, you're not an American.' [Q2013]

Robert J. Gula

We all have emotional needs: the need to love, to be loved, to be accepted, to feel a sense of accomplishment, to feel a sense of self-worth, to feel important, to feel needed, to protect ourselves, to attain status in our own eyes and in the eyes of others, to be secure. These needs, in turn, conceal other emotions: love, hate, fear, jealousy, anger, guilt, greed, hope, loyalty. The emotions are fragile and sensitive. They are easily tampered with and they are easily manipulated. A person who knows how to appeal to our emotions can deceive us, manipulate us, and get us to accept as true that which is untrue. — Nonsense Red Herrings, Staw Men and Sacred Cows: HOw We Abuse Logic in Our Everyday Language. [Q1185]

Thurgood Marshall

If the First Amendment means anything, it means that a state has no business telling a man, sitting alone in his house, what books he may read or what films he may watch. [Q752]

Bill Withers

I feel that it is healthier to look out at the world through a window than through a mirror. Otherwise, all you see is yourself and whatever is behind you. [Q1948]

Richard P. Feynman

We've learned from experience that the truth will come out. Other experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you were wrong or right. Nature's phenomena will agree or they'll disagree with your theory. And, although you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist if you haven't tried to be very careful in this kind of work. And it's this type of integrity, this kind of care not to fool yourself, that is missing to a large extent in much of the research in cargo cult science. [Q975]

Pete Seeger

One of the things I'm most proud of about my country is the fact that we did lick McCarthyism back in the fifties. [Q351]

Milton Friedman

The only relevant test of the validity of a hypothesis is comparison of prediction with experience. [Q281]

Neil deGrasse Tyson

After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all? [Q231]

Miles Davis

The thing to judge in any jazz artist is, does the man project and does he have ideas. [Q2054]

Edward de Bono

Computers will give us dangerously logical answers based on our faulty perceptions. (from the book, I am right, you are wrong. Pg 44) [Q2011]

Guy Debord

Quotations are useful in periods of ignorance or obscurantist beliefs. [Q713]

George Orwell

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past. 1984 [Q1230]

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